Georgia Power, EPRI using new center to find best uses for coal ash

Southern Co. utility Georgia Power and the Electric Power Research Institute are collaborating on a partnership to find uses for recycled coal combustion products (CCPs).

The Ash Beneficial Use Center will host pilot projects and lead testing to further develop means for CCPs such as coal ash.

The center is located at Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen and will focus on pilot testing for technology to use coal ash. Activities will include reviewing ways to optimize coal ash characteristics to better fit commercial applications.

“As a part of our ash pond closure efforts, Georgia Power is always looking for opportunities to use coal ash that are not only beneficial to our customers, but for our communities and environment,” said Dr. Mark Berry, vice president of environmental and natural resources for Georgia Power. “The Ash Beneficial Use Center is paving the way for the latest coal ash technologies. We hope to see closed ash ponds and landfills become resources as new and improved uses are developed and proven through this center.”

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Today, Georgia Power already recycles more than 85 percent of all ash and gypsum, including more than 95 percent of fly ash, it produces from current operations for various beneficial reuses such as concrete production as well as other construction products.

“Developing cost-effective technologies to recycle coal ash is an important aspect of the clean energy transition,” said Neva Espinoza, EPRI vice president of energy supply and low-carbon resources. “This unique research center provides an opportunity for utilities, researchers, and vendors to collaborate and advance technologies from benchtop to commercial operation.” 

Plant Bowen is a 3.5-GW coal-fired power plant situated near Euharlee, Georgia. It is one of the nation’s largest capacity coal-fired plants and its four units were brought online in the 1970s.

Crews are currently removing two million tons of stored ash at Georgia Power’s retired Plant Mitchell. It will be converted for use in Portland cement manufacturing.

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